1. Public syllabus examines significance of Harris’ vice presidency

    Mark Rivett posted May 13, 2021

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    The University of Michigan has developed a collection of educational resources designed to help scholars, teachers, and learners at U-M and around the world examine the significance of Kamala Harris’ historic ascension to the U.S. vice presidency.

    The Democracy & Debate Theme Semester, in partnership with the National Center for Institutional Diversity in LSA, has launched the Kamala Harris Public Syllabus, which seeks to contextualize the inauguration of the first woman of color to hold the nation’s second-highest office.

    The syllabus reflects a national collaborative effort. A call inviting suggestions for books, articles, podcasts and other educational material was issued to scholars across the nation, with NCID receiving more than 100 suggestions. The submissions were curated by an editorial board of U-M faculty and staff.

    The materials are designed for classroom use and other avenues of critical engagement and debate. The editorial board anticipates that the collected materials will find their way into course syllabi and areas of engaged learning over the summer and well into the fall semester as Harris’ legacy and the Biden-Harris administration continue to unfold.

    Angela Dillard

    Angela Dillard, Professor of Afroamerican & African Studies

    “This collective public syllabus project is as much about the future as the past and the present,” said Angela Dillard, chair of the theme semester’s academic advisory committee, and professor of history, and of Afroamerican and African studies.

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  2. State House proposal would slash budget for Ann Arbor campus

    Mark Rivett posted May 6, 2021

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    A Michigan House committee moved forward a higher-education budget bill May 5 that would leave overall funding flat but radically change how the state supports its 15 public universities.

    Under this new approach, the state appropriation for the University of Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus would be cut by nearly $40 million in the next fiscal year, a move that U-M leaders say would further transfer financial responsibility for the cost of education to students and their families. The university received $322.9 million from the state during the current fiscal year.

    The proposal calls for the implementation of a simplified per-in-state-student funding model that would phase in over three years. Historically, discussions about state funding for public universities have considered each school’s unique mission and capacities, not just the number of students. Lawmakers did not consult with higher education leaders before introducing this new approach to funding the state’s public universities.

    The result would be a redistribution of millions of dollars from the state’s research universities to several of its other public universities without any additional state support, putting at risk the university’s long-held commitment to ensuring that in-state students from all socioeconomic backgrounds have access to a world-class education.

    In a letter written this week to House Appropriations Chair Thomas Albert, R-Lowell, President Mark Schlissel called the proposal a “drastic move” that “does little to advance our state’s goals around improved postsecondary education and meeting the workforce needs of an evolving state economy.”

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  3. University sourcing electricity from new wind parks

    Mark Rivett posted May 4, 2021

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    Approximately half of the purchased electricity for the University of Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus will soon come from Michigan-sourced renewable resources, largely due to the launch of three new wind-energy parks.

    The university committed to purchase approximately 200 million kilowatt hours per year of electricity produced by the new wind parks in a 2019 power-purchase agreement with DTE Energy. This step, now coming to fruition, will reduce U-M greenhouse gas emissions by more than 100,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually — equivalent to the annual emissions generated by 12,000 homes.

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